Monday, October 17, 2016

Daybreak and moonset over the CBD, early Monday morning

In the end, I didn't spend all our money on plane tickets with Jetstar. The most recent Friday Frenzy email didn't really have anywhere that we particularly wanted to go. I had a hunt around on the flight comparison websites and bought tickets with Virgin Australia to Auckland instead.  We're going in mid-November for four days. Ian, alas, can't come with us. His diary says NO.  But Lindsey can.  So we booked tickets for her too.  We have two nights booked in an Airbnb place near Rotorua.  Lindsey is hunting for somewhere in Auckland for us to stay. I'm quite looking forward to it.  I have never been to New Zealand and nor has The Builder so it should be quite an adventure.  Lindsey has been. Excellent.  She can be our guide!

My Senior's Card has arrived in the post, accompanied by a senior's Myki card which will give me discounted travel on the trams, buses and suburban trains. This is good.  In England I wouldn't get a senior's travel discount until I turned 66.

I called into the Mount Clear butcher's shop on Friday and asked if he ever had any unsmoked bacon.  Most Australian bacon and ham is smoked and that's OK, but I really prefer unsmoked bacon. He said he could organise to make some for me.  In fact he had a huge piece of bacon that he had just cured and was about to cook and smoke.  He could set some of it aside unsmoked for me to collect later.  I felt that really, I could probably cook it myself so he sold me a lovely chunk of cured but uncooked and unsmoked bacon.  Then he mentioned that they had won a gold medal in the previous week's regional ham championship.  Had I ever tasted their ham?  In fact, I have, but not for many years.  So he gave me a few slices.  Lindsey, Ian, The Builder and I had the ham for Saturday breakfast with some fresh eggs that a friend of Lindsey's had sent over.  You can see why the ham had won a gold medal! The bacon I roasted and we had it on Saturday evening with an apple and cider gravy and Sunday lunch style accompaniments. He wins awards for his bacon and sausages as well as his ham.  Again - you can see why.  The bacon continues to give. We had some for brunch on Sunday. I've used some in pasties for lunch tomorrow.  There's a small bit left.  I'm sure I can think of something to do with it for lunch on Wednesday.

We didn't have a home made lunch today.  We are in Melbourne today. Lindsey had a meeting at the surgery yesterday late in the afternoon so we came down with her. She has gone off to do useful things today.  Ian is also out doing useful things.  So The Builder and I left Sam the Dog to his own devices and went for an amble up Smith Street to suss out the shops, pubs, cafes and other interesting things.  The tram I take to the surgery goes up Smith Street, so I had some idea of what was out there, but nothing beats walking up and down a street to discover what it has to offer.  We have, in fact, walked up it before, two or three years ago, on a phenomenally hot mid-day.  We didn't really remember anything about that walk except that we had lunch in Jimmy Grant's and found a Japanese grocery shop. And that it was HOT.  We found the Japanese grocery shop again today, except it is closed on Mondays. We once again had lunch in Jimmy Grants. We found a magnificent butcher's shop and an amazing deli on the Fitzroy side of the street and another magnificent butcher's shop and a Japanese Izakaya on the Collingwood side. Lots of things for us to play with.

We've been here for oh-so-nearly two months and I still haven't been to play in Lygon Street.  I ought to do something about that!!

Drinking gin and eating slow roasted lamb, barbecued chicken,
flat bread and yoghurt dip at Jimmy Grant's

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